Westport, close to the Wild Atlantic Way, is the gateway to adventure with Blue Flag beaches and stunning summits on your doorstep.
Nestled in the heart of County Mayo, the charming town of Westport is often overshadowed by its more popular Irish counterparts. However, this quaint coastal town has steadily been gaining recognition, and for good reasons. Awarded the title of "Best Place to Live in Ireland" in 2012, Westport offers a captivating blend of history, nature, and culture. And f you're in two minds about adding Westport to your Irish itinerary, here are five compelling reasons that promise a mesmerizing experience.
1: Croagh Patrick:
Dominating the landscape, Croagh Patrick is an emblem of Ireland's rugged beauty. Climbing to the top might take you about 2 hours, but oh, those views of Clew Bay! It's challenging, sure, but the reward? Absolutely worth every step. Remember to keep your rain jacket handy because mountain weather can change instantly.
2: Sheeffry Hills:
If you fancy a more secluded hike, Sheeffry Hills is your answer. With fewer visitors than Croagh Patrick, you get serenity and stunning vistas. Yes, it's a day’s affair, but believe us, with the surroundings changing at every turn, you’ll be left wanting for more.
3: Westport House:
This historic manor dates to the 16th century. The 433-acre sprawling estate in the heart of Westport town, has beautifully landscaped gardens, tranquil water features, and the enchanting backdrops of Clew Bay and Croagh Patrick. Serving both as a museum and an activity centre for families, Westport House remains a beacon of Ireland's cultural heritage, attracting visitors from far and wide.
4: Clare Island:
A short ferry ride from Roonagh Pier in Louisburgh, Clare Island boasts stunning sea cliffs, historical ruins, and a unique island ecosystem. Probably the most famous association with Clare Island is Gráinne Mhaol, also known as Grace O'Malley, the Pirate Queen. Born around 1530, she was a fearless leader and sea captain who commanded a fleet of ships. The ruins of her castle can still be seen on Clare Island today.
5: Silver Strand Beach:
If you're someone who believes that beach walks are the best walks, Silver Strand will be your haven. Located in a sheltered bay near Louisburgh, this white sandy beach is backed by dunes and offers Lord of the Rings like scenery with Mweelrea providing the backdrop.
Westport, with its rich tapestry of history, awe-inspiring landscapes, and a splash of adventure, is a gem waiting for you and your family to explore. Whether you're a seasoned traveller looking for the next big adventure or someone who just wants a serene getaway, this town in County Mayo promises a slice of Ireland like no other. So the next time you think of Ireland, don't just think of Dublin or Galway; remember the allure of Westport and the myriad experiences it brings with it. Pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and head to this captivating Irish town!